Good morning, friends. And how are you today?
You may all remember that last week, we took a vote on a variety of issues facing Cardinal Nation today. Well, the votes are in, they've been counted, and the voice of Viva El Birdos has been heard!
We ended up with 91 total votes. To be honest, there were more votes, but apparently I wasn't clear enough on the formatting. I tried to count the ones that weren't in the comma-delimit format, but only made it through part of them before I just ran out of both energy and time. So 91 votes it is. And here, members of the voting VEB public, are the results:
A. Will Chris Carpenter be healthy enough to contribute in 2009?
- Yes- 47 votes
- No- 44 votes
And the yesses have it here, by the very slimmest of margins. Chris Carpenter will be healthy enough to make a contribution in 2009, everyone! Hooray!
Personally, I come down on the 'no' side of the equation. I almost think Carp will be healthy, but I also happen to think that the only way you can possibly look at it is to assume that he won't be. If he's healthy, great. But I'm certainly not counting on Carp for anything next season.
B. Which of the following outfielders would you be most willing to trade this offseason?
- Rick Ankiel- 29 votes
- Skip Schumaker- 56 votes
- Ryan Ludwick- 5 votes
- Colby Rasmus- 1 vote
I think it's pretty obvious here that we're all coming down squarely in the corner of moving the player that's going to have the least impact on the Cardinals. If you look at it, as the outfielders become less valuable, the more willing we are to move him. That's not surprising, of course, given that we are, in fact, Cardinal fans. I would, however, be interested in knowing the rationale behind those who chose one of the non-Skippy choices. I assume that they were banking on the return value, as well as the various questions attached to each.
Me? I vote Ankiel. He's a nice middle point. He's more valuable than Skip, but less so than Ludwick. He's probably going to get expensive after this season, and he has health concerns. Still, he should bring a solid return from a team with a need for outfield help or left handed power.
C. Who do you want closing games in 2009?
- Chris Perez- 72 votes
- Jason Motte- 12 votes
- Jason Isringhausen- 0 votes
- Ryan Franklin- 0 votes
- Other- 7 votes
Wow. A landslide victory here for Young Pitcher. I am a little surprised that not even one person gave Izzy a vote for old time's sake. I am not, however, surprised that Franklin didn't get a vote. Franklins for drinking? Awesome. Franklins for closing? No effing way.
D. Felipe Lopez in '09: yea or nay?
- Yea- 32 votes
- Nay- 59 votes
And the nays have it, by a nearly two to one margin. I'm the Red Baron, and I approve of this result.
E. When should the Cardinals begin talking to Albert Pujols about a contract extension?
- Now- 27 votes
- After next season- 54 votes
- 2010- 10 votes
- When he becomes a free agent- 0 votes
This seems to be a pretty balanced, sensible answer to me. One poster did request an additional option; that it should have already been done, but most people are comfortable waiting one more season. Not too many are comfortable waiting any longer than that, though. And no one, I mean no one, is willing to let Albert get his foot out the door. Again, that seems pretty sensible to me.
F. Who is the most attractive lefty relief option on the FA market?
- Brian Fuentes- 19 votes
- Jeremy Affeldt- 41 votes
- Will Ohman- 16 votes
- Scott Eyre- 0 votes
- Other- 15 votes
It appears we like the upside and potential underratedness of Affeldt, compared to what may very well be an overrated Brian Fuentes. Fuentes will be a Type A free agent, and I'm just not sure if he's worth a first round pick. Affeldt throws harder, might possibly be an option to swing into a starting spot for a turn or two, and won't cost the Cards a pick. Good choice.
G. What should be Mr. Mo's biggest priority this offseason?
- Middle Infield- 74 votes
- Bullpen- 9 votes
- Starting pitching- 7 votes
- Impact bat- 2 votes
It appears that we are of one mind on this issue. The impact bat, the rotation, even the bullpen are secondary concerns. The middle infield is the most glaring hole this team has, and we all want to see it filled in, at least a little bit.
H. Who would you like to see succeed Tony La Russa?
- Jose Oquendo- 61 votes
- Pop Warner- 13 votes
- Don Mattingly- 2 votes
- Bobby Valentine- 1 vote
- Other- 14 votes
Yet another landslide. I'm really not surprised by this one, though. We've all seen Oquendo in a Cardinal uni for so long, it seems like it would be a travesty for him to go anywhere else. Interesting, of course, that we feel that way, when he's on his way to interview for the Mariner's managing gig today.
I was a little surprised that neither Mattingly, who is seen as one of the next guys to get a gig, nor Valentine, who has hinted that he would be interested in coming back to America, interested more people. We are an insular bunch, we Cardinal fans.
Interesting write ins included Jim Edmonds (who I actually think would make a tremendous hitting coach), and the man himself, Mark McGwire. Now that be a story line.
I. Which of the following minor leaguers is most likely to make a significant contribution to the Cardinals in 2009?
- Bryan Anderson- 4 votes
- Jess Todd- 18 votes
- David Freese- 23 votes
- Mitchell Boggs- 46 votes
This one, I'm sure, is a matter of positional opportunity. Both Bryan Anderson and David Freese are blocked at the big league level, and Jess Todd is behind Boggs himself on the depth chart. Hence, Boggs is the man.
I do have a question here. For anyone who voted for Anderson, did you do so on the basis that you think either Yadi will get hurt and Anderson will get a chance or that Bryan will somehow force his way on to the big league club with a briliant spring, or did you vote for Anderson on the basis that you think he'll be traded, thus making a contribution in the form of another player? Just curious.
J. Do you like me?
- Yes- 48 votes
- No- 3 votes
- Maybe- 40 votes
Well, while it is nice to see that the yes's handily outnumber the no's, I obviously didn't learn my lesson from my attempted courtship of Nikki Rush in the fourth grade. You never, ever put a 'Maybe' box on there. That just doesn't do any good! At least force them to say yes or no; you may get lucky and they'll feel bad about hurting your feelings and not answer no. Maybe just gives them a way out. Sigh... First Nikki, now VEB. I just don't know what I'm going to do.
Thank you all so much for participating in the Viva El Birdos voting program. Feel free to discuss the results at length. Oh, and by the way, I don't think I'm going to be doing too many more of these any time soon. Digging through all of those numbers is a pain.
So now we have our official VEB positions figured out. If you're reading this, Mr. Mozeliak, this should give you a pretty good idea of what direction you need to be moving in. Now get cracking.